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Thread: Disc Brake Conversion '55 CJ5

  1. #1
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    Disc Brake Conversion '55 CJ5

    Hey all,

    I have been working on a full restoration of my great grandfather's '55 CJ5 and I have made it to the stage where I am replacing and upgrading the brakes. I opted to go for front and rear disc brakes and ordered the Trackick brackets from Brennan's Garage that allow you to use Geo Tracker calipers and rotors. Being totally new at this and very ignorant, I just had the realization that I will not have a parking brake in my current configuration. I had a friend who knows much more than I do suggest using a brake lock of some type. I also had a few friends just suggest always parking the jeep in 1st gear and bringing wheel chocks with me (which seems a little sketchy). I was wondering if anyone else has run into this situation and what solutions you came up with.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    -Alex

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    alove, this has come up before. I think there was general agreement that in the long run, the original transfer case mounted emergency brake was the way to go.

  3. #3
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    Stupid Question: Would that work with rear disc brakes or would I need to go with the original rear drum brakes?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    The original e-brake works by holding the driveshaft. It is independent of the brakes at the wheel. What is on the back of the transfer case now? Take a picture, lets see whats there.

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    I pulled the engine and I'm planning to swap in a 4.3L out of an S10, so I'm not sure how that fits in. I believe I will be able to use the original transfer case with this setup, so I'm assuming I can stick with the original e-brake as well.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    The 4.3 V6 has the same transmission bolt pattern as the 350 Chevy, but you'll need an adapter to mount the Chevy to the Jeep T18 transmission. (Then you can use the stock parking brake). Advanced Adapter has adapters for just about any configuration one could dream up.

    A disk brake conversion will make a huge difference in the braking performance. The parking brake on the transfer case is pretty basic, but effective.
    Last edited by gmwillys; 06-07-2022 at 08:07 PM.

  7. #7
    I'm not disagreeing with anyone here and all the advice is sound. However, I'll just point out that me and my Dad drove his 61 CJ5 from 1966 to 1988, almost daily, and never once did we use the parking brake. Mostly because it didn't work and we never bothered trying to fix it because we felt it wasn't needed. We lived in the mountains above 10,000 ft. elevation, so lots of snow and cold. Dad said that transfer case brake tended to get wet or full of snow and then would ice up and cause problems, so he never used it. So, when parking, if you put it into reverse, if you're headed downhill, or 1st if you're headed uphill, you should be OK in most situations unless someone or something knocks it out of gear. Just my 2 cents!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    True you could get by without one. On a big hill it may just turn the engine over. You will not be able to idle in neutral on anything but flat road. If you had a P.T.O. or other device that requires the engine to be running in neutral, it would also be difficult. All that being said there are many vehicles running around without a functioning emergency brake. I think it is always best to have one, in case of an emergency!
    Last edited by bmorgil; 06-09-2022 at 07:51 AM.

  9. #9
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    It’s nice to have a parking brake. I have owned a few vehicles with manual transmissions that didn’t and got used to killing the engine every time I stopped so it would not roll away. I find parking brakes particularly useful at gates and on boat ramps or anywhere you wouldn’t normally want to shut off the engine for a few seconds. I don’t know that I have ever used a parking brake to park where I knew the engine would be off anyway. Bad habit because I have had both manual transmissions in gear and automatic transmissions in park roll downhill.
    Jeff
    '51 CJ3A
    '47 CJ2A

  10. #10
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Our 2A didn't have a functional parking brake for many decades. Now that it works properly, I use it almost every time I fire it up, just to ensure that when it is idling outside the shop, it's still there when I come out to go for a ride. With that being said, I don't use it when it is sleeping in the garage-ma-hall.

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